< Al Sullivan's journals


A chemical bond


July 12, 1983


Waiting. Watching. Worrying.

Everything I do or feel I compare to the past.

Such as how I react now to how I reacted to last year or a decade before.

I celebrate the first anniversary with my reunion with Louise with concern about Fran. I walk in a dream full of intense emotions, each old memory falling in my head like lumber.

These days I survive: my uncle next door, and my girl, Fran, who is somewhere in Clifton making love to another man.

I know things Iím not supposed to, and they seep into my dreams, making themselves in depression each time I wake up.

Even anxiety over work does that.

I feel stupid, like the cuckolded husband in Chaucerís Millerís Tale.

Sometimes I simply feel pain.

My failed marriage to Louise taught me how to be suspicious. But she also taught me to avoid accusing without cause.

For this reason I wait for Fran to declare herself before I act wounded and show real pain.

Does this mean that all that pain I felt with Louise was not real?

Real yes, legitimate, perhaps not Ė justified only after the fact when I found out all the dirty details by which time it was too late to put on any act at all since Louise was gone.

These days I crave legitimacy, aching to find an excuse to lash out.

I thought I had my moment recently in Washington Square Park when Fran, scheduled to meet me there, wandered elsewhere in New York City instead in a daze.

I sat for hours while she sought some mysterious meaning by pounding pavement.

She knew where I was but simply chose not to go there.

I like to think she felt guilty, but I know Fran better than that. She is a survivor, and lacks the same sense of guilt most people feel.

She sees nothing wrong in finding a new love even as the old love begins to fade.

Louise felt the same way.

Apparently I miss some important insight into the female mind here because I think it is wrong.

Perhaps all women think this way. Perhaps only the women I pick to fall in love with.

Damn, canít I ever escape Freud?

Perhaps I impose my wishes onto Fran, wishing her and her depressions gone from my life.

Wish makes for reality and I feel the strain of her pulling away.

I still ache over the Washington Square thing, but a mixed up, moody hurt that I felt with other women in my life, looking more for soothing than for truth.

This may be the reason why I walked the street the way I did, roughly silent, looking at everyone but Fran. But she walked in silence, too, attempting to manipulate me with her moods. I always fall for these, but not this time, so our silence went on and on, although the whole time I wanted to blurt out: ďDid you have a fun time with Bill?Ē

From the day I met Fran in front of the Fotomat booth in Clifton, she worried about rejection.

For good reason. I want to reject her. I want her away. But I keep these feelings to myself, choosing to play the role of suffering righteous lover.

What is this chemical process that Jung describes as happening when two people meet?

Fran, of course, is trying to reject me. I want her to reject me. But some mysterious chemical bond keeps us together.



































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